DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Fla. (WESH) — A Florida man is accused of stealing an alligator from a tourist attraction in Daytona Beach Shores, then swinging the animal around and deliberately stomping on it.
William Hodge, 32, was arrested Thursday morning after police say they saw him walking in the 2100 block of South Atlantic Avenue with the alligator.
Authorities said they witnessed him swing it by the tail and then try to toss it onto the roof of a building.
Police said Hodge slammed the alligator into an awning twice, then threw the animal to the ground and repeatedly stomped on it.
Hodge allegedly admitted to climbing over a fence to get to the alligator enclosure at Congo River Golf, then stealing the alligator.
Police said he told them he was tossing the alligator around, “to teach it a lesson”.
Hodge was charged with five offenses, including the felonies of animal cruelty, possession/injury of an alligator, and burglary.
The alligator was returned to the management of Congo River Golf from where Hodge claimed to have stolen it after a brief wrestling match.